They're the ones left in the room when the doctor rambles off a diagnosis or care plan and suddenly leaves. They're the ones who are there when a doctor pulls a PICC line, puts on a terrible bandage, and leaves. Or when the doctor pulls out a feeding tube, blood going everywhere, and leaves the room. Or when a doctor puts in IV, blood going everywhere, and leaves the room (I've had quite a few incidents of doctors doing procedures, making a mess, and just leaving). Nurses are the ones who have to deal with 3am bloody wounds. And the ones who have to inspect your poop when it's red and runny before deciding to call the doctor.
Of course, like any profession, not all nurses are the same. I mean, I've seen the range of nurses from the burnt-out nurse to the one-year-from-retirement-doesn't-give-a-damn nurse to the touchy-feely-hug-everyone nurse to the hands-off-super-efficient nurse (my favorite) to the tells-you-horror-stories-about-previous-patients nurse.
I think I may be slightly scared as I remember the horror stories more than the positive ones. Like the nurse who told me to "just relax, it's over now" instead of giving me medication while I was having a panic attack after a terrible scope. Or the ones who yell at my visitors. Or the ones who specifically go for a vein I say is shot and, big surprise, they can't get blood or an IV. Or the ones who wake me up every hour of the night for no reason other than making sure I haven't somehow died (I know this is obligatory and not their fault but I'm still mad about the lack of sleep while in hospital). Or the ones who drank coffee in front of me while I had my trach and hadn't eaten or drank anything in over 20 days (I'm still bitter) and felt like I was dying of thirst. I could probably go on.
But I've also had amazing nurses who've taken time out of their day to wash my hair. And ones who encouraged me to stand up on my own after the transplant. And ones who snuck me IV supplies so I wouldn't have to pay for them. And ones who wiped my butt after my transplant. And ones who let me have more than two visitors at a time. And ones who have spent a shift trying to get the bleeding from my chest wound or PICC line to stop. And ones who have given me anti-anxiety meds without me having to ask twice, or once in some cases. And ones who listen when I say a vein is shot and try where I suggest. Amazing nurses who can get an IV in first try. And ones who chase down doctors to get me stronger pain meds. And stronger sleeping meds. And to fill out discharge papers (nurses spend a lot of time chasing down doctors for me). I could go on.
Thank you to all the nurses who've been there for me: pre-transplant with CF problems Halifax Infirmary; pre-transplant Toronto at St. Micheal's and the Toronto General Hospital; post-transplant in the ICU, Step-Down ICU, Transplant General Floor, Transplant Out-Patient Clinic, and Homecare. And with chemotherapy: the nurses at the VG at the outpatient hematology unit and the inpatient hematology unit; the ones in Amherst emergency who had me for a week and then had to later unblock my PICC; the ones at Springhill who drew my blood when VON didn't show up; VON nurses when they did show up; and the ones in emerg in Halifax for all the times I showed up on the edge of tears, shaking with a fever, who so patiently wrapped me in all the warm blankets and brought me buckets of ice water.
THANK YOU for taking care of me!!! Happy Week of Celebration for all your hard work!
|An IV pump to remind all the nurses of the beeping.|